Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The New Mexico Legislative Report

The New Mexico Legislative Report summarized the end of the legislature’s special session in these words: At approximately 12:00 noon today, the Senate and House adjourned sine die. All Senate bills received from the House were acted upon by the Senate and are now in the process of being Enrolled and Engrossed in preparation for action by the Governor. No House bills were acted on by the Senate. The vote to adjourn sine die (for the second) time in the Senate was a 22-16 party line vote, that cut off any consideration of the 3 “tough on crime” bills approved by the House. The Senate concurred with all of the House changes to the Senate bills that were adopted before their first adjournment early last Saturday morning. This means that the acceleration of the phase out of hold harmless payments to local governments is NOT in the final version of Senate Bill 6. It was taken out of the bill on Sunday in Chairman Harper’s Ways and Means Committee amendment. The bill passed the House 50-17 some time during the House’s marathon evening/night/early morning session, which ended about 7 a.m. today. In spite of a strong week-long effort by our DWI Coordinators Affiliate, the language sweeping funds from that program and from the E911Fund in Senate Bill 2, was not changed in the House. The bill passed 43-22, which means it did not get an emergency clause (that takes a 2/3 vote) and will take effect 90 days after signature by the Governor. DWI Coordinators Affiliate Chair Kelly Ford’s good explanation of the implications of that loss of funding is copied below the signatures at the end of this message. The Special Session is over; the feed bill passed so the workers will be paid. We are already working on plans for NMAC to play a proactive role in the last 3 months of the year, on tax policy, DWI & E911 funding, and other issues that will be critical to counties in the 2017 regular session. Call us anytime! Tasia Young Steve Kopelman Brian Moore tyoung@swcp.com skopelman@nmcounties.org brian@ranchmkt.com 505-469-6409 505-469-5584 505-670-9311 • From Kelly Ford (reprinted with permission): • The LDWI fund currently has a cash balance of $2 million - this is current revenue, not fund balance. • $4 million was swept from the LDWI in the last regular session in HB311 o This is being paid out of this current year revenue and we still have $1 million left to pay! • Another $3.6 sweep will have to be paid out of current/future revenue to be accomplished. • The first quarterly distribution amounts to each of the 33 county local programs were already reduced from $4 million to $1,555,700 to pay $3 million towards the original (HB311) sweep allocation. • With having a reduced balance and paying the sweeps out of the current year revenue we also must pay the following: o $1.6 to AOC for Drug Court (per HB2) o $2.8 for Detox Programs (per 11-6A-3.D.) o $1.9 in DWI Grants (per 11-6A-3.C.) o $900,000 to DFA/TSB (per 11-6A-3.C./11-6A-3.E.) • The County Local Programs will receive approximately 50% of their estimated distributions. Most Local Programs budgeted the majority of their LDWI distributions for payroll. o Statewide we employ approximately 212 FTEs, 56 PTEs, and 64 contract employees. • If the LDWI sweep amount is not amended, the LDWI fund will be unable to sustain its original intent and Local Programs will not be able to supervise and treat our current convicted 11,319 DWI offenders or provide services for future DWI occurrences. If the LDWI fund is reduced an additional $3.645 million, current program operations will be affected and the fund will be unable to pay the actual County Programs as intended by statute. I know these bills were drafted with the understanding there would be a year’s worth of operating funds and we very much appreciate that effort. However, with the current balance of the fund and the allocations to be paid I am afraid that will not be the case for LDWI.Please, take a second look at the calculations for this fund. I know for my own program, if my distributions continue to be the same or less than my first distribution, I will be laying off employees.

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